The Signs of the Times


April 7, 1898

The Sabbath of the Lord—No. 2


“And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thine house, and on thy gates.... Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His testimonies, and His statutes, which He hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers. To cast out thine enemies from before thee, as the Lord hath spoken. ST April 7, 1898, par. 1

“And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all His household, before our eyes; and He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in, to give us the land which He sware unto our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us.” ST April 7, 1898, par. 2

How positive are these words! How full of assurance! Here it is plainly stated that obedience to the Lord's specified statutes will bring the richest blessings. ST April 7, 1898, par. 3

“Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth..... Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day; lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God.... And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.” ST April 7, 1898, par. 4

The Lord often tested His people, to see if they would have faith in Him. He allowed the supply of water to fail, that they might be reminded of their past deliverance, and be led to put their trust in God. But their continual blessings, for which they should ever have been grateful, led them to forget their dependence. No sooner did their supply of water fail, than they lost sight of God, and blamed Moses as the cause of their calamity. In the place of trusting God, who had so long and so liberally supplied their wants, they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, and bitterly reviled them for bringing them out of Egypt. O, how easily this unbelief springs into life! This is the danger today. The people of God must keep a constant watch over their hearts, lest they allow Satan to interpose between them and God. ST April 7, 1898, par. 5

God has a controversy with the inhabitants of this world. Satan has come to them disguised as an angel of light, and under his direction the majority of Christians bow at idolatrous shrines, and worship an unknown god. If man had always obeyed the fourth commandment, there would not now be an infidel or an atheist in our world. All would recognize and honor the power of the Creator. How vain will be the resistance of humanity against God! By His infinite power He called the earth into existence. With a word He could depopulate it, and return it to its original state, and with a word raise up a new race of beings. ST April 7, 1898, par. 6

Man broke the law of God, and defied His will. This law reveals to the world the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God could not abolish His law to save men; for this would have immortalized transgression. But He gave men unmistakable evidence that He loved them, and that justice is the foundation of His throne and the evidence of His love. He carried out the penalty of transgression, but He allowed it to fall upon a substitute, even His only-begotten Son. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In this wonderful gift is shown the depth of God's goodness. He so loved men that, in order to save them, He gave His Son to the world, and in that gift He gave all heaven. He gave Himself in His Son, that sinners might have another trial, another opportunity to show their obedience. This was the only provision God could make. Thus a way was provided whereby sinners might return to their loyalty. ST April 7, 1898, par. 7

God is calling upon all to behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. Christ lifts the guilt of sin from the sinner, standing Himself under the condemnation of the Lawgiver. He came to this world to live the law in humanity, that Satan's charge that man can not keep the law might be demonstrated as false. He kept the law in humanity, and when He was accused falsely by the Pharisees, He turned to them, asking with a voice of authority and power, “Which of you convinceth Me of sin?” He came to reveal to the heavenly universe, to the worlds unfallen, and to sinful men, that every provision has been made by God in behalf of humanity, and that through the imputed righteousness of Christ, all who receive Him by faith can show their loyalty by keeping the law. As the repenting sinner lays hold of Christ as His personal Saviour, he is made a partaker of the divine nature. ST April 7, 1898, par. 8

We may all rest in the assurance that whatever the love of God has devised in man's behalf will be executed. Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne; mercy and truth go before His face. In the cross of Christ mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other. ST April 7, 1898, par. 9

But it is not by abolishing one jot or tittle of the law of God that salvation is brought to the fallen race. If God were a changeable being, no confidence could be placed in His government. If He retracted what He said, we could not then take His Word as the foundation of our faith. Had He changed His law to meet fallen men, Satan's claim that man could not keep the law would have been proved true. But God did not alter His law. The death of Christ testifies to the heavenly universe, to the worlds unfallen, and to all the sons and daughters of Adam, that the law of God is immutable, and that in the judgment it will condemn every one who has persisted in transgression. The God who rules the world in love and wisdom testifies in the death of His Son to His changeless character. He could not change His character as expressed in His law, but He could give His Son, one with Himself, possessing His attributes, to a fallen world. By so doing, He magnified His name and glory as a God above all gods. ST April 7, 1898, par. 10

Christ has declared, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The truth of God's Word alone is permanent and abiding. The loyal subjects of God's kingdom will not be found trampling upon His law, pronounced by Inspiration to be “holy, and just, and good.” Every false religion is of Satan's originating, and the warning must be given to the world. Why do men continue so blindly in unbelief when the Word of God is so plain and unmistakable? When the judgment shall sit, and the books are opened, what excuse will they give for taking sides with the first great rebel, thus making the Word of God of none effect in their lives? God's wisdom and truthfulness are changeless, and in that great day when sentence is executed against the despisers of His law, the cross of Christ will show that He is a God of love in thus executing judgment. Those who refuse to obey His law during probationary time could not with safety be received into His kingdom; for they would labor as earnestly and zealously against the law of His government as did the first apostate. There would be a second rebellion in heaven. ST April 7, 1898, par. 11

God is true. He reigns, and will reign, notwithstanding that the church and the world have entered into a confederacy to abolish His law. Age after age Satan has been blinding men by his wiles. He has co-operated with human agencies in an effort to make falsehood truth. He has worked with intensity to defy the God of heaven by making His law of none effect. But he has not done this; for in the ark of God in heaven are the tables of stone upon which are written the precepts that are the foundation of His government. And the Sabbath, which God declares to be the sign of the loyalty of His people, is placed in the bosom of the Decalogue. Its sanctity reaches into eternity; for God declares that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, His subjects shall come up to worship before Him in the earth made new. ST April 7, 1898, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White